Processes to Follow After an Oil Tank is Removed From Your Home


Processes to Follow After an Oil Tank is Removed From Your Home

Not too long ago it wasn’t uncommon for plenty of homes, if not all, in any given neighborhood to be heated by oil and gas. This was how it was done for decades and decades and provided sufficient heating for a home, but as times change, it becomes apparent that oil tanks might be obsolete in favor of newer alternatives.

What this means for plenty of homeowners is that they now have an inefficient source of energy lying dormant under their yard or home, and they need it gone. It could be for various reasons why it needs to be removed, which will be discussed shortly, but the fact is that when dealing with a job of this magnitude, you have to take the proper steps and precautions.

Removing an oil tank is no simple Sunday project and it’s not advised that you attempt it on your own, but it’s still good to know the processes that are involved with removing this heating source. Here, you will see just what it takes to remove an oil tank, what to do before and after, and why it’s necessary to remove it properly.

Why Your Oil Tank Should Be Removed

You might think that heating your home with oil is effective now, which could very well be true, but eventually, it will become a bigger problem than a solution. Oil tanks installed in or under homes are old, plenty of them being installed well before the 60s, which means that they will eventually rust, break down, or leak. This is going to cause serious problems for the water and ground as leaking oil is obviously not something that anyone wants. The longer this tank stays there, the higher the probability it will eventually breakdown, so it needs to be removed before this happens. Similarly, there are more eco-friendly and efficient forms of home heating and energy now available so it should be a priority to adjust your home to more contemporary requirements.

How is the Oil Tank Removed?

The actual process of removing an oil tank is quite interesting. A company will come in and inspect the soil, determine the heating lines to ensure that nothing gets damaged, and they will use a backhoe/excavator to take out the underground tank. If you’re curious about the process, the tank removal information at helps shed light on why the process is so extensive. Soil samples are done to check for contamination from leaks, which is a common question. This is also useful if you’re buying a house with an oil tank too. It’s always advised that you only get a specialist to do this. This is not a job for the average homeowner because of the potential cost of clean-up and all of the equipment needed to properly remove the unit.

How Do I Know If I Have an Oil Tank? 

There are usually two types: underground and in-home. The underground ones are harder to tell but if your home was built in the 40s or 50s, there’s a good chance it has an underground oil tank. You can call the city to get municipal records on the building permit or any pertinent details regarding the whereabouts of a tank, but your realtor should also have disclosed this information and will be in the paperwork for your house. An in-home fuel or oil tank is much easier to find because it’s a big tank in your basement or boiler room, so it’s hard to miss.

What If the Tank is Inside the Home?

If the tank is inside the home, you still need to call the specialist removal services. They will come in and drain the tank, then cut it open and clean it, cut the fuel lines to the house, and properly dispose of it. All of this is important again because this is not a job for you to do. The ease of removing a fuel tank from a home that is inside is a simpler process, but still tough nonetheless.

How Do I Fill the Hole?

There will be a hole left from the underground tank that was removed, and most people think they can just fill it back in with sand and dirt, but that’s wrong. The problem is that you still need to get a soil test to determine any contamination, but it’s also necessary for the removal specialists to do the clean-up for you. They advise you on what to do. Similarly, if you plan on getting a new tank at some point, you don’t want to put it back in the same hole so it’s best to get one above ground for easier maintenance. Regardless, listen to what the removal specialist(s) have to say.

What Happens if the Tank is Leaking?

If the tank is leaking, and there’s a good possibility considering it’s old, there may be a cause for concern. As mentioned, the issue with a leaking tank is that it can eventually reach groundwater, which can impact the entire neighborhood and water supply. This will result in a lot of money being spent on clean-up that you can be liable for due to it being on your property. The solution is usually to allow the removal team to evaluate the situation and help with cleanup. Often, they will have coverage up to a certain value on damages to help you get it cleaned without having to pay out of pocket, but loans or government assistance can help as well if it’s too much for you to handle alone.

Why You Can’t Leave an Oil Tank

The last thing is a question many have regarding an oil tank, which is why they can’t just leave it and forget about it. The problem with this line of reasoning is that the tank is going to leak eventually, it’s just a fact. Knowing this, if you left the tank, it’s going to leak and potentially contaminate the water, kill vegetation and soil, and cause a huge hassle. It’s better off just paying to get it removed and being responsible.

Heating a home with an oil tank isn’t as common as it used to be because of new heating options, but it’s still common for older homes. If you need an oil tank removed, then the information provided here will help you make sense of the entire process and why it’s important.

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